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Here in Malaysian Borneo, a seasonal invasion is under way. Staff at hotels watch nervously for a food that is putrid, retched, and loved by millions. Meet the durian fruit. Their smell is hard to describe. It smells like rotten fish and custard. A rubbish dump. Blue cheese. Perhaps a dead dog. Like private parts. Other cultures love foods that smell strongly. Cheese, a favorite in the west, is actually rotted milk - a stench people in Asia find intolerable. Like cheese in France, durian is precious in southeast Asia. Some believe it's worth killing for. Durian trees don't bear fruit until they are 15 years old. A single durian can cost as much as 50 dollars American. Here in Kuching,capital of Malaysian Borneo,hotels are on the front lines of the durian war. When the fruit is in season, hotel managers maintain a constant vigil to keep it out. For them, the taboo is really about the bottom line. One funky fruit can scare off a hotel full of customers. It goes into the curtains. It sticks into the carpet. It sticks into the carpet. It sticks into the bedspreads. That doesn't stop people from trying to smuggle it in. We can immediately smell it. I know he's deny it, but we know that they've got them. Every hotel has its own method of dealing with the durian alert. There's only two methods of getting rid of the smell, we found. One is charcoal. Charcoal absorbs the smell. And the other [that takes quite a long time] and the other one: we've got an ionizer that Um... it's an industrialized one, and within three hours we can pull the smell out the room. Please no durians here. No in the hotel. Outside in the fresh air you can do it, but definitely not here. In Borneo,visiters can decide for themselves if he durian is delicious, or just plain disgusting, as long as they do their taste testing outdoors.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 29 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: National Geographic
Director: National Geographic
Views: 146
Posted by: greenbo on Mar 29, 2010

Horribly smelly, yet loved by millions?

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